A couple of years ago I found myself in the Lake District but had forgotten to pack my poles. I nipped into Keswick and bought a pair of Trekmates poles in a discount shop at £15 each. They were a revelation. I realised then that you didn’t have to pay a huge amount of money for a decent trekking pole, and this particular model has the advantage of a good and reliable trigger lock mechanism that saves all the endless twisting and tightening involved with traditional twist-lock designs.
Trekmates Trigger Lock system is simplicity itself. Pull the poles out to your preferred length and simply clip the lock. In all the times I used these poles they didn’t slip under pressure once. The big advantage of course is that you can adjust the pole quickly and easily, even when wearing thick winter mitts.
I used these poles pretty regularly but broke one in Nepal when trekking and broke the other in Knoydart. I’d never really had this problem before but Trekmates do say these are ‘slim’ poles and it could be the aluminium isn’t as strong as on other poles. Having said that, you can buy these poles in many discount outlets for £15 per pole or less so if you break one every so often it’s cheap enough to replace.
At the end of the day trekking poles perform a fairly simple task and while an expensive pole might be lighter in weight, have a more comfortable grip and a simpler closure design it won’t actually help you perform any better. These Trekmate poles seem to do the job very well, even if you might have to replace them once a year.
First published: Sept 2013